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Carl Harris Jr. and Elle Harris When I gave birth to Elle three years ago, the first thing I said when the doctor gave her to me was “OMG! She looks just like him.” These two are inseparable. They are twins who share priceless, unconditional love for each other. –Leslie Parker                

It will strengthen your memory and improve your meals

     “Rosemary is for remembrance, pray you love, remember,” says Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.      In the language of flowers, rosemary represents remembrance, fidelity, devotion, wisdom and strengthened memory. In the spirit of love, rosemary has been used in wedding crowns and bouquets, dipped in sweet waters or gilded and often tied with gold ribbons. It was presented to the groom as well as the bride and was one of the first bouquets to be thrown to bridesmaids.

Kelly Swanson keeps her fallen ­soldier son Christopher alive in spirit

      We think of Mother’s Day as a time set apart to recognize the uniqueness of a mother’s role in the family and to tangibly show appreciation for all she does. There are flowers, gifts, dinner out and a respite from the daily routine of making sure everyone else’s needs are met. It’s supposed to be a good thing. 
 
Vote for the top three look-alikes. Winners will receive tickets to one of the fun and fabulous events you read about in 8 Days a Week. 
Send your votes to [email protected]. Deadline: Friday, May 17. 
              Mother Pam Bennett of Churchton and daughter Susan Bauer of Deale. “She is my best friend,” Susan said. “We have always been close and share a bond like no other. We are always there for each other. She’s the best mom! I’m so thankful to call her mine.”  

Did two years with the Peace Corps  in a far-off land with foreign ­customs break me … or make me?

      It’ll make or break you, said the people of Shady Side when I announced I was moving to Armenia to spend two years volunteering with the Peace Corps.      I’ve been here exactly 24 months, and, as of this month, I am broken.

Celebrating scholar-athletes in the Special Olympics Calvert County Spring Games

     Cheerleaders wildly celebrate every arrival. Family and friends proudly sport shirts touting their favorite competing athlete. Volunteers excitedly welcome all who come.       The sights and sounds greeting you as you entered the field at Calvert High School said you were witnessing something magical: a community coming together to celebrate scholar-athletes competing in the Special Olympics Calvert County Spring Games.

Swamp and common are the ­toughest to tell apart

     It is encouraging to see everybody talking about native plants these days. But native plants are nothing new. They were here before colonization and have evolved in our environment over time. 

At home or on the town

      St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17, is the anniversary of the death of the patron saint of Ireland. Kidnapped as a teen, Saint Patrick was brought to Ireland but eventually escaped to his native Britain. He later returned to Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to the Irish. He died in the fifth century. But on March 17, at least in America, everybody is Irish. Indeed, more than 30 million Americans have predominantly Irish roots. Between 1820 and 1930, 4.5 million Irish arrived in America.

Fred Tutman, the only African ­American ­Riverkeeper on the job

       Waterkeeping has become a regular part of environmental conservation in Chesapeake Country, where 18 riverkeepers protect their local waters from the Atlantic at Assateague to the Shenandoah in the Appalachians, from the James at the mouth of the Bay to the Middle Susquehanna at its source.       In that commitment, we’re in good company. From New York’s Hudson River, where riverkeeping began, the movement has spread across the nation, giving us some 250 waterkeepers.
Sotterley Plantation memorialized as UNESCO Slave Route Project Site
for role in Middle Passage 
       Historic Sotterley Plantation, along the Patuxent River in Southern Maryland is the 94-acre site of bountiful colonial revival gardens, music and wine festivals, picturesque weddings, an organic farm, special events and of course, tours of the historic 18th-cen­tury manor house and grounds.